What if, instead of sending your records to a scanning company’s facility and having them away from your oversight, you could have the scanning company come to you?

Yes, it is indeed possible. There are trade-offs to having your documents scanned at your place instead of a partner’s, but that juice might be worth the squeeze to you. 

In this article we’re going to describe the benefits of onsite scanning, how an onsite project gets executed (the process), and two considerations to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Onsite vs. Offsite Document Scanning

Onsite and offsite document scanning projects share the same objective: to digitize your records, converting them from hard copy to electronic format. Several factors differentiate these two methods, including the scanning location, transportation considerations, and cost.

The major differentiator is, of course, the location. With an offsite project, your records will be transported to your scanning partner’s facility to be processed. 

With an onsite, your scanning partner comes to you – they bring the machines, the people, and the know-how right to your doorstep! What you need to provide is the space for them to do their work.

Benefits Of Onsite Scanning

Make records more accessible

One of the significant advantages of an on-site scanning project is the continued accessibility to your records. Since the scanning occurs at your premises, even if the files haven’t been digitized yet, you can access the hard copies without navigating a records request process.

People with laptops, tablets, and cell phones

Mitigate risk

There are inherent risks in any digitization project. Conducting the scanning on site, however, ensures that the records remain under your control, reducing numerous associated risks.

Hand turning a risk dial

Eliminate transportation
Transportation brings its own set of challenges and risks. Onsite scanning eliminates the need for packing your records and transportation, thereby eliminating all of these risks as well as cost.

Files in an archive

Gain more project oversight

Executing the scanning project on your premises allows you a closer view of the process, granting you the ability to offer direct oversight and collaborate more effectively with your scanning partner.

Business woman looking at a project calendar

Facilitate direct collaboration
Direct, face-to-face interactions can significantly streamline project processes. If any questions come up during the scanning project, live discussions, during which your scanning partner can show you exactly what they’re doing, can save vast amounts of time versus going back and forth with phone calls and emails.

Two hands connecting puzzle pieces

Onsite Scanning Project Process

Onsite scanning projects start in much the same way as offsite projects: with defining the project scope. This step involves outlining the specifics and requirements of what you want to accomplish. All of this is determined in collaboration with your scanning partner.

Once the project scope is defined and administrative tasks are settled, the next step is the on-site deployment of necessary resources. This not only includes the personnel responsible for the scanning but also equipment like scanners and prep stations as well as (depending on the project) additional items such as overhead scanners, lighting sources, hard drives, processing stations, and more.

It’s worth noting that while the company you hire typically manages and oversees on-site scanning, they might also utilize local resources, such as temp agencies, to aid in the manual labor and preparation integral to the process.

Before resources are deployed and the scanning area is set up, paper documents need to be appropriately prepared. This involves removing staples, paper clips, and rubber bands, and ensuring pages are flat. Any torn documents are repaired to ensure they run smoothly through the scanner. This step is crucial as issues with the paper can cause scanning equipment to jam or malfunction, resulting in poor-quality images.

With the documents prepped, the next step involves scanning and converting them into digital images.

Once digitized, the images undergo post-scan processing. This may encompass various actions like image manipulation (e.g., deskewing or rotating), quality assurance checks to ensure legibility, optical character recognition (OCR) to make the text searchable, and indexing. Indexing essentially involves assigning a digital name to the electronic file, making it easier to locate later.

Even if the initial scanning takes place onsite, post-scan processing typically takes place at the scanning company’s offsite location. Given that these are digital files, the physical records aren’t transported for this phase.

After processing, the digital files are delivered—either imported directly into your chosen document management system or provided on a physical hard drive.

Should You Choose Onsite Scanning?

What’s your comfort level?
Most folks who choose onsite scanning do it for the security benefits. The fundamental question is about comfort; are you at ease with the idea of your records being scanned offsite at a partner’s facility? If this notion unsettles you, onsite scanning might be the best choice.

What can you afford?
While comfort is paramount, cost is also an inescapable factor. It’s essential to understand that onsite scanning is typically more expensive than its offsite counterpart. This cost discrepancy stems from the increased logistical challenges and resources required for onsite projects. If your records are transported to a scanning company’s facility, the costs are generally lower. However, onsite scanning, with its inherent challenges, often commands a premium. Deciding on this method, therefore, requires weighing the value of added comfort against the associated costs.

Heap of coins

Next Steps

Reach out to us today! Click the “Get Your Quote” button below, fill out the form, and we’ll quickly reply to you to discuss your project.

Further Reading

How To Prepare For Your Paper Scanning Project
Getting ready to start a paper scanning project? Here are four ideas to help you prepare and be ready to make your project a success.

How To Choose A Paper Scanning Partner
Having the right partner for your paper scanning project can determine the success of your project. However, the task of finding a partner can be daunting. Read our guide on things you should consider and questions you should ask when you’re searching for a partner, such as “what kind of technology do they have?” and “what kind of experience do they have on similar projects?”.

4.5 Secrets To Lowering Your Paper Scanning Price
Getting ready to start a paper scanning project? Learn 4.5 ways to lower your scanning price including boxing your own records and simplifying your indexing.